Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Bago (Pegu): Pearly white Mahazedi Paya

This is also one of my favourite temple. It's not so much for the pretty white-washed stupa building that beheld my interest but rather the reddish, mouldy building that was tucked away by the side of it. While the beauty of the solid stupas lies in its pure, eternal whiteness, the other was an "Ananda" style temple, similar to the ones in Bagan with Indian structure. It looks like a golden cavern with pillars and arching ceilings of gold. The light that survived through the windows sent a beautiful glow to the place. There was no one there except the friendly, non-English speaking caretaker. We took our time admiring the surrealism of the place. Everything looked like it was from a 3D game, with a fantastical mystery waiting to be unraveled, or from a Sinbad movie where the statues will jump out of their centuries-old slumber and come alive. Paint was peeling from some parts of the walls and the figurines on the walls were dust covered. It looked new from the glow yet the elements of age were also present. Both R and I felt like we've been transported to another world. It was cool and quiet and there was just the two of us with the four golden lady statues on all sides at the centre.
Originally constructed in 1560 AD by King Bayinnaung, it was destroyed during the sack of Bago in 1757. It wasn't rebuilt, and was nearly levelled by the 1930 earthquake, the current reconstruction only completed in 1982. - Green Trail Tours

Entrance of the temple

Snake nat (spirit) statue

Crocodile stairs

Mahazedi Paya

Mouldy red pavilion

Lion statues as guardians

Beautiful, golden walls

Peaceful and surreal

Figurines in the walls and peeling paint

Red, mouldy pavilion with golden pagoda

Burmese designs lining every corners and edges of Mahazedi Paya

Doorways ascending to the top of the pagoda

Closeup of the hti

The people painting the pagoda looked so tiny. According to our guide, no women are allowed on this temple.

Lion statue and bulgy-eyed tiger wall painting

Carved painting on the base of a statue

Lady carrying goods on her head; look, no hands ma!

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